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It’s time to cancel woke commercials

We live in a “woke” time and it doesn’t seem like anyone will let us forget it—not even for a split second.
Jessica Swietoniowski Toronto, ON

We live in a politically correct, “woke” time and it doesn’t seem like anyone will let us forget it—not even for a split second, not even for just enough time for us to enjoy our morning cup of coffee.

Douwe Egberts Belgium is a coffee company who just joined the Team Woke.

More and more, companies don’t try to sell us their brand, quality or even their product, but instead they sell us on their “wokeness.”

A recent ad for the coffee shows two young teenagers, one clearly a girl and the other in a hoodie so you can’t discern their gender, kissing on the couch who then get interrupted by the girl’s dad. They run upstairs but the daughter stops to give her father a dirty look.

An obvious, “I hate you. You’ve ruined my life,” teenage-girl look.

Then the dad makes coffee and the two teenagers come down to share a cup. The hooded teen is revealed to be a girl. They all sit around smiling and laughing—with tones of acceptance and growth, which is exactly what you want from your coffee.

The ad ends with the father putting his daughter’s glasses back on her face and smiling. The glasses that the girlfriend took off her earlier while making out on the couch.

Yes, a very wholesome moment, and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this hypothetical dad accepts his hypothetical daughter. That’s the way it should be.

Belgium was even ranked the second-best country in Europe to live for LGBT people, according to Rainbow Europe poll. Belgians already seem to be plenty accepting.

This ad has already been seen over 12 million times on Twitter and has some users in tears.

The 2019 Brussels Pride Parade had around 100,000 marchers. It’s clear Belgians—and most sane people—aren’t homophobic today, so why are these types of commercials pretending we are?

The ad also reminds me of a recent Sprite ad that you needed to watch twice before noticing the Spite logo. The ad showed LGBT members getting ready for the Pride Parade and their family members smiling and accepting them.

Because again, that’s what you need from your drink choice.

Movies, television and branding have become a competition of who is more woke rather than convincing us to consume their products. Everything out there has to have a political message or statement.

The quality of the product doesn’t matter anymore as long as you’re scoring points with the woke crowd.

Pandering to a rather small portion of the population may not seem like the most business-savvy but they may also overlap with another crowd. The cancel culture crowd.

So even though, Dali Research finds that only about 6 percent of people identify as LGBT in all of Europe, companies choose to target a rather small demographic.

Why go after such a small group? Possibly the fear of the backlash of the outrage culture.

It’s possible companies and business think their public relations will go more smoothly if they go with the trends—even if that means ignoring the larger population.

They’re taking the easy way through—pandering and bending the knee for a small but very loud and demanding group. Woke people are hard to please.  You can never be woke enough.

For regular people who don’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, it gets tiring for them to be constantly lectured about something they already agree with.

You see, us unwoke people, who want our ads to be about the products and our commercials to be selling us something without a moral lesson or a guilt trip attached—we see right through the cynical pandering.

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Jessica Swietoniowski
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